Without fail, I think of my grandfather every year on New Year’s Eve. We spent a handful of New Year’s Eves with my grandparents and we’d have the same jokes each year. He was the first to introduce my brothers and myself to the “I’m not changing my underwear until next year” NYE joke. About a thousand different jokes would follow, all about what we won’t be doing until next year (brushing our teeth, sleeping.)
For those who lost someone this year, I wonder if New Year’s Eve is a nice chance to let go of a hold on a loved one who has passed, or if it is something different. I am blessed enough to say that I have not had a loved one leave the world this year. Time marches on, relentlessly and without pause. I hope you take a couple of minutes tonight to reflect on all the blessings you have been given in 2011. I also hope you can keep those who have not had many blessings in your thoughts and prayers tonight. Let 2012 be a year of hope and peace for those who need it. Tonight, my prayers are for a blessed year for Mandi Lee-Han, who still waits for news about her father after his fishing boat was hit by a rogue wave this past summer. Go here to learn more.
Ready to talk food? I am loving hearing what all my Facebook friends are eating for dinner tonight. So many traditions and types of celebration food out there. What are you eating?
I had no plan for tonight’s dinner as I strolled through the grocery store this afternoon. At the last minute I decided to give carnitas a go. Honestly, I couldn’t remember if carnitas was pork or beef. (It’s pork.) As I brought home the big chunk of pig, I realized that I probably didn’t have much in the way of taco fixings. So, I threw together all the Mexican spices I could think of and roasted the meat for about 4 (maybe more) hours at 325 degrees.
I can’t think of pork without thinking of the old commercials naming it, the other white meat. Once I think of the other white meat, I can’t help but think of a Saturday Night Live skit called, “The Other Boleyn Girls.” This is the only place online I can find the skit where Kristen Wiig plays the other…other Boleyn girl is on a fan site for Ellen Page and it’s worth the visit!
I drizzled a bit of olive oil over the meat and dumped what seemed like 1/3 cup of spice mixture over the pork. Most recipes suggest cutting carnitas into chunks before cooking. I didn’t do so this time, but I will ask the butcher to do it next time I buy such a large chunk of meat.
After a family trip to the soccer field across the street, we came home to a well spiced and settled meat. We piled the carnitas on top of black beans and sliced bell pepper, then scooped on plenty of avocado smash and cilantro. Total taqueria flavors, totally made in pajamas. And…I don’t know why I am saying we. I made the dinner, it was me.
- 2 avocados, smashed
- 1 T. cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 lime
- salt and pepper
- Mix and smash together all the above and smother over meat, chips, tortillas or just your face. It’s just so good. To take avocado smash all the way to guacamole, add minced garlic, red onion, jalapeno pepper and diced tomatoes.
I picked up two blue cookies with 2012 frosted on top for Max and Dallas to enjoy tonight. Jy and I are going to give the chocolate gelato I found a whirl; it claims to be handmade in Italy and I’m hoping it tastes as expensive as it was. Not that $8 is a great loss, but that is a lot for what is essentially chocolate ice cream!
So, off to celebrate the last night routine of 2011. I hope Dallas doesn’t quite figure out what midnight really means! Thank you all for reading and making this year a fantastic one for me. Happy and safe New Years Eve to everyone and I’ll see you next year!